Book Reviews

Orson Scott Card * Empire Book Review

I was recommended this book because it deals with politics.

It was more a polemic than a novel, and its attempts to be non-biased were far outweighed by the moments of its blatant one side-ness. If you area a strong supporter of the right and think that our patriotic duty is to not question either the president or the military then you would like this book. If, on the other hand, you think that this country was founded by people that questioned the authority over them and that is what made it great, or if you think allowing those in power to act outside the bounds of checks and balances is a bad idea, or even if you think that dissenting ideas should not be presented as straw-man arguments than this book is not for you.

White-House-Down

Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science fiction and fantasy works. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near future scenario of a new American Civil War.

“The problem with elections is that anybody who wants an office badly enough to run for it probably shouldn’t have it. And anybody who does not want an office badly enough to run for it probably shouldn’t have it, either. Government office should be received like a child’s Christmas present, with surprise and delight. Instead it is usually received like a diploma, an anticlimax that never seems worth the struggle to earn it.”

The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone.

“A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure that anyone who opposed them must be either stupid and decieved or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance.”

olympus-has-fallen-157The battle rages between the high-technology weapons on one side, and militia foot-soldiers on the other, devastating the cities, and overrunning the countryside. But the vast majority, who only want the killing to stop, and the nation to return to more peaceful days, have technology, weapons and strategic geniuses of their own. And in the middle of it is a family man, the person who designed the terrorist plans (not for the terrorists but for the government as an What-If scenario). The man who wants to put everything right and fight the rebels who wish to overthrow the system. A good man.

“My husband is a good man,” she said. “It’s important to him to be a good man. He has to not only be good, he has to believe that he’s good. In the eyes of God, in my eyes, in his parents’ eyes, in his own eyes. Good.”

When the American dream shatters into violence, who can hold the people and the government together? And which side will you be on?

“Personal affection is a luxury you can have only after all your enemies are eliminated. Until then, everyone you love is a hostage, sapping your courage and corrupting your judgment.”

I gave the book a 2/5.

It reads like a script to an action movie: it is fast paced and there is a lot of action.

olympus-has-fallen-white-house-destructionAlso, this book is fair and balanced like fox news. The left wing extreme in this book holds beliefs that only a small, unmobilized percentage of the population of America holds. The right wing extreme of this book is also, some what exaggerated, however they never take any action in the book. The war/uprising is entirely started and perpetrated by left wing militants. Also, the book openly states that the present administration are moderates who are widely supported. I am not going to claim that the present administration are right wing extremists, but they are hardly moderate, and they are also not widely supported, not now and not when this book was written and published.

This book makes excellent points about the political dialog in America today: people need to stop characterizing the other side as stupid or crazy just because they don’t agree. There has been very little party cooperation lately, and that needs to improve. However, to deny that this book has a right leaning bias would be irresponsible.

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